Texas A&M University has entered into an agreement with Google to provide Google Apps for Education, which include Gmail accounts. Use of this service is governed by university policies as well as the terms and conditions of the contract with Google. Texas A&M University acts as the administrator of user accounts on behalf of Google.

Potential users of Google Apps at Texas A&M (“the Service”) are encouraged to read this entire document carefully. By using the Service, you acknowledge and agree to the following:

Core Apps & Consumer Apps Agreements

    1. Core Apps Agreement: Texas A&M University has an agreement with Google for the use of its core apps. This agreement specifically covers the following applications: Gmail, Calendar, Drive (Docs), Groups, Sites, and Talk (Chat). See Texas A&M University’s Agreement with Google Apps to view the agreement.
Consumer Apps Agreement:
    Texas A&M University has enabled some Consumer Apps for the campus. Consumer apps currently available as part of the Service include Chrome Web Store, Google Blogger, Google Chrome Sync, Google+, Picasa Web Albums and YouTube.
    1. These consumer apps are governed by a contract between you and Google. Enabling Consumer Apps requires you to agree to a Consumer Apps Terms of Service agreement with Google. This will occur the first time you log in to your Google Apps account after the Consumer Apps are enabled, regardless of whether or not you are going to use any of the Consumer Apps.
    2. You must agree to this one-time agreement in order to obtain access to any part of your Google Apps at Texas A&M University account including Gmail. Google requires that all users of the Google+ Consumer App be at least 13 years old, so carefully enter your birthday when prompted, when using that app for the first time. Failure to provide a birth date that indicates you are at least 13 years old will lock you out of your entire Google account, including Gmail and Calendar.
    3. Most consumer apps fall under Google's General Terms of Service, but some have their own Terms of Service. Terms of Service for individual apps can be found by selecting an app from the App List (google.tamu.edu), and then clicking its respective Privacy & Terms link

Acceptable Use

Users of the Service must follow both Google’s Acceptable Use Policy and Texas A&M University IT Security Controls. The following additional provisions apply:

  1. Restrictions on Use: The Service is appropriate for many academic uses as well as some business and administrative uses. The Service is not appropriate for:
    1. Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI) subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
    2. Data controlled for export under Export Control Laws (EAR, ITAR).
    3. Certain types of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers, and bank or financial account numbers.
    4. High Risk Activities such as those involving business records in which loss or inappropriate disclosure would result in large consequences in terms of economic loss, loss of trust, or legal liability.
  2. Data Sharing: Users of the Service can allow others to access data for the purpose of sharing and collaboration. Do not share data with anyone who does not have the appropriate authority to view it unless the data is of a public nature.
  3. Records Retention:
    1. State Records: The content and function of documents determines whether it is a state record. State records are subject to Texas A&M System and University records retention requirements. More information can be found in the following documents:
      1. 61.99.01 Retention of State Records
      2. 29.01.03.M2.01 Employee Email
    2. User Control: The user controls the retention of data. The user may delete messages, documents, and other materials at any time.
  4. Security: All users of the Service must still comply with University IT security policies. More information can be found in the following documents:
    1. Google Apps for Education Security and Privacy Statement
    2. Texas A&M University Rules and Standard Administrative Procedures
    3. Privacy: All users of the Service must still comply with all Texas A&M University privacy requirements and responsibilities.
    4. Monitoring and Disclosure of Email: Texas A&M University has the authority to monitor or disclose user data under certain circumstances. Google provides Texas A&M University the ability to do so. All student and employee email messages may be subject to disclosure in audits and investigations, as well as legal or regulatory proceedings.
    5. Texas Public Information Act: If you are an employee of Texas A&M University, any documents you save or publish using the Service may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act (aka “Open Records”). Texas A&M University will manage any open records or other legal requests. (A description of Google’s approach to a government request for user data is addressed in Google’s Approach to Government Requests for User Data).
  5. Other Information:

    Advertising: Data generated by using the Service (mail, calendar, drive, etc.) will not be used by Google for marketing purposes nor will the data be shared with third parties. Google does not cross-reference data between the Apps environment and your personal Gmail account.

Privacy Statement

All requirements and responsibilities related to the security and privacy of information remain whether that information is maintained locally or in Google Apps for Education. For example, any document you save or publish in Google Apps may be subject to privacy laws, such as FERPA and HIPAA. Google provides a list of commonly asked questions regarding their approach to security and privacy (Google Security and Privacy FAQ).  

Items of Note:

  • If you are employed by the University, please be aware that any documents you save or publish in Google Apps may be subject to the Texas Public Information Act (aka “Open Records”).  Texas A&M University will handle any open records/government requests. A description of Google’s approach to a government request for user data is addressed in an official blog post.  
  • When using Google Apps for Education, the user controls the retention of data. The user may delete messages, documents, and other materials at any time. Once a user deletes an item from their trash, it cannot be recovered after five days.
  • Google Apps for Education is a product suite that is distinct from personal Google products (Gmail, calendar, search, etc.). Google does not cross-reference data between the Apps environment and the public environment.
  • Data generated by using Google Apps for Education (mail, calendar, drive, etc.) will not be used by Google for marketing purposes nor will the data be shared with third parties.

If you have questions about the privacy of Google Apps at Texas A&M, please contact Information Technology Risk Management.